The Food and Drug Administration is giving the University of Alabama at Birmingham the green light to study the use of a marijuana derivative to treat seizures. Parents of children with seizure disorders persuaded the Alabama Legislature last year to pass a bill authorizing UAB's Department of Neurology to do a study of the marijuana derivative cannabidiol as a seizure treatment. A UAB spokesman said Tuesday that the FDA has approved the study, but has requested modifications. A university review board will discuss the changes next month.
UAB is shutting down the football program. The university announced the decision Tuesday minutes after President Ray Watts met with the Blazers players and coaches. UAB made the decision after a campus-wide study conducted by a consulting firm over the past year. Watts says financial realities "are starker than ever and demand that we take decisive action for the greater good of the athletic department and UAB." He says UAB subsidizes two-thirds of the $30 million annual operating budget.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham and Alabama State University have been given a federal grant to research and reduce disparities in cancer rates.
UAB officials said in a statement Tuesday that the $1.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute will allow both schools to execute cancer-related research and training focused on helping underserved communities.
Jefferson County's medical examiner says there have been 100 heroin-related deaths in the county this year, surpassing 58 that were recorded in 2013.
Al.com reports Chief Medical Examiner Gregory Davis is asking the Jefferson County Commission for a 2 percent funding increase to help cover autopsy costs and renew a contract with UAB to provide toxicology services. A committee approved his request and the full commission is expected to vote on it Wednesday.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham has launched an online medical site that will allow physicians to make medical recommendations and write prescriptions.
Director of Primary Care at UAB Dr. Stuart Cohen says the new site is meant to offer convenience for young, otherwise healthy people who develop common and non-urgent conditions like the flu, pink eye or a cold.
Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham are hoping to learn more about a deadly fungal infection called Cryptococcus. The germs are inhaled at a young age and are present in most people. And most people handle it just fine. But in some it can develop into fungal meningitis that can be fatal. UAB professor of medicine Peter Pappas says people with compromised immune systems are the highest risk.
New research out of the University of Alabama at Birmingham has found an HIV prevention method for women is safe. The early phase one trial tested out new intravaginal rings carrying two anti-HIV drugs. Women who used the rings for a month found them acceptable and one of the drugs was detected later. Unfortunately, the other wasn’t. But Craig Hoesley, a doctor and professor of medicine who oversaw the trial, said the results were encouraging. He says other HIV prevention methods like condoms are useful.